Studying Gesture—Combining Methods

Last year I made the mistake of going through the Prokopenko Figure Drawing Fundamentals lessons too quickly. I saw the lessons as "easy" and in my eagerness to improve quickly, I dedicated no more than two weeks to each lesson.

Needless to say, NONE of the lessons stuck!

Once it became clear that the skill of gesture drawing was the foundation for all figure drawing, I returned to studying and practicing it mindfully.

I'm dedicating four weeks to each lesson this time to ensure that I get it. I'm also combining methods from various instructors to see which work best for me.

Currently, my daily practice involves a warmup of circles, ellipses, egg shapes and straight lines. The circles, ellipses and straight lines I got from the Watts Atelier. The egg shapes I do because of Samantha Youssef.


I returned to the Youssef method after dismissing it the first time I studied it (I also dismissed the movie Tekkonkinkreet the first time I saw it and now love it having watched it again recently! Funny how age changes the way you look at things.) Originally I found the method involved too much thinking and too many steps to follow in the short period that models pose.

Well, I looked at it again and now understand how her methods relate to Prokopenko, Vilppu and Nicolaides. I'm making the connection among these various methods, finally understanding what they mean and how they're different ways of teaching the same principles. This is how I'll eventually arrive at the best gesture and figure drawing method for ME.

Next post: what combining Prokopenko and Youssef looks like.

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